Former ANC North West Chairperson and Premier Supra Mahumapelo attended a church service organised by the Pastors’ Forum in Lefatlheng Village in Moretele, in the North West.

The Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) last week suspended Mahumapelo and Acting North West ANC Women’s League Secretary Bitsa Lenkopane¬†from the ANC for five years for sowing division in the organisation after they held a parallel rally to an official IPC event during a by-election last year.

Some members of the MKMVA also attended the Pastors’ Forum church service, which was meant to address the triple-R (Repositioning, Rebranding and Renewal). An initiative Mahumapelo led.

Amongst the speakers, was the MKMVA Treasurer General and former Finance Minister Des Van Rooyen, who says they will continue to support the former North West ANC leader.

“No one is going to tell us who is comrade Supra as much as no one is to define to us who are our leaders. Nobody is going to tell us who comrade Jacob Zuma is….that’s why we are saying we are Zuma, Zuma is us. The same message that we are bringing here today: we are Supra, Supra is us. Now we are saying to our comrade in North West….please be careful…don’t allow yourself to be used by the puppets of these people,” Van Rooyen said.

Lenkopane says they won’t be defocused by this five-year suspension.

“We got it on TV and this other radio that our membership is suspended for five years and we are going to be removed from whatever area of deployment but what is important is that we will never forget the understanding of the objective of the ANC. A paper written five years suspended by a person who is not known by the majority of people who want to benefit from the existence of the ANC is not going to make us defocused and leave the ANC,” adds Lenkopane.

A member of the MKMVA, Carl Niehaus, believes that Mahumapelo and Lenkopane were treated unfairly.

“Am here in support of comrade Supra. I believe that he has been treated very unfairly. I am happy that there is an appeal that is being lodged. Step-aside resolution that has been adopted at the 54th national conference – it cannot be selective and it cannot be rewritten. If we go back to the step-aside resolution as it was taken at the 54th national conference – it is very clear that says all of those who have allegations against him; who have findings against them, also by other legal institutions such as Chapter 9 institutions and those who have been charged must consider to step aside,” charged Niehaus.

Mahumapelo has been instructed to undergo a three-year political mentorship programme under former ANC President Thabo Mbeki’s guidance. However, Mahumapelo says he is appealing the ruling and therefore his membership is still intact.

“The day on the 28th of April, when they said I’m gone for five years in the ANC, (I) immediately sat down and I wrote a letter to the secretary-general who according to the procedure must then hand over that letter to the National Disciplinary Committee and I have got a reply from the secretary-general’s office confirming that it has been received and because I have appealed and until all the appeal processes are completed it means my membership is back intact; I am using his English – that your membership is intact,” said Mahumapelo.

However, the IPC says Mahumapelo remains suspended:

Interim Provincial Committee coordinator Hlomani Chauke says the ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is deliberately misinterpreting the party’s constitution to protect Mahumapelo.

Chauke says Magashule does not have the authority from the NEC to lift Mahumapelo’s suspension in his alleged appeal. -Report by Salang Motsepe